February 4, 2014

Hello friends!

Lots of good Jo Henley news to share! First and foremost, our new album, tentatively titled Around These Parts, is well underway. We've had two big, productive sessions in Upstate New York with Tim Lynch at The Recording Company and are just about done with all the basic tracks. So far, we're pumped. This is going to be an excellent record. I am often asked what this one will be like. Truthfully, that's hard for me to answer right now. Making a record is a little like a painter who paints with his nose close to a huge canvas, and it's only when he steps back that he can really take it all in and see the whole picture, so to speak. That's sort of how we feel right now. We're too close to it to be able to say exactly how the final product will turn out.

Going into this project, I was inspired by one of my favorite records, Waylon Jennings' Dreaming My Dreams. I love most all of his records from the '70s, but this one in particular is special. Waylon was the quintessential outlaw, with the beard and the cigarette hanging out the side of his mouth and the deep voice and the bluster. Like Paul Bunyan with a Telecaster. But Dreaming My Dreams is quiet and soothing and sparse, and my copy on vinyl sounds...well, it sounds just how a good old vinyl record should sound. And it always makes me think of winter. So, as fall began to slowly give way to winter, and fallen leaves were being replaced by fallen snow, I found myself wanting to write songs that sound like that record, and silent fields of snow, and crackling fireplaces, and hearty stews slow-cooking all day on the stove to warm us on cold nights. Ben is a Waylon fan, too, so it wasn't hard to dig in and try to capture the essence of what our version of that record, and the beautiful bleakness of winter, might be.

Of course, blueprints are made to be broken (or something like that!) Around These Parts may have been inspired by Ol' Waylon, but it sounds distinctly like a Jo Henley album, with our style and sensibilities and musical fingerprints everywhere. It is colorful and ambitious, full of story-songs and characters down on their luck yet always full of hope that life gets better right around the corner.

There will be 10 new songs, special guests joining us on a few tunes, and it will all be pressed onto 180 gram vinyl, because it only makes sense that it should. Yes, we will also have CDs available and digital downloads, but this felt like a batch of songs destined to spin on a turntable.

In two weeks we return for another big session, which should wrap up the basic tracks. We expect to be mixing next month and get it out to be pressed by late April.

If you have seen us in the past couple months, you've probably met our newest member of the Jo Henley family, bassist Kyle Stephens. A native of Scituate, MA, and a member of a local Grateful Dead cover band called The Mystical Misfits, Kyle brings his chops, his cool demeanor, and his sense of humor to Jo Henley. We are excited to have him aboard, so please be sure to say hello and introduce yourself when you see him at our shows!

In the meantime, here is a video we recently acquired from our friend Brad Glass, who took this when we played at The Blue Moon Coffeehouse in Rockland, MA, last December. Our buddy and bassist from our pre-Jo Henley days Kurt Jorgensen is joining us on bass for the occasion. Enjoy!

We have a few very special announcements to make very soon, so stay tuned....

1 Comment

  • Rain

    Rain Somewhere in Monkeyville

    What a perfect way to make my day. At work and watching video of you. BigsmilE
    What a perfect way to make my day. At work and watching video of you. BigsmilE